All Articles Tagged "HUD"
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, it is stated that people who live in lower-poverty neighborhoods tend to have lower levels of obesity and diabetes compared to those who reside in rough, poverty-stricken areas. According to CNN, this realization all started after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offered residents of poor neighborhoods the chance to move on up (not necessarily to the East Side). While they were initially supposed to just be studying how where you reside affects employment, income and education, with the rise in the number of obese Americans, they decided to take their study a step further.
They studied 4,498 single mothers who volunteered for the program to get their families out of high-poverty areas. They found that individuals who moved to lower-poverty areas were 19 percent less likely to have morbid obesity, and 22 percent less likely to have the glucose levels usually connected with diabetes. According to study author Jens Ludwig, “Neighborhood disadvantages contribute to obesity and diabetes. Improving the economic situations [of families] improves their health.”
If you were wondering what is it about poverty-stricken areas that increases your risk for obesity aside from the usual, “No money to afford good food” answer, here are a few ideas, according to previous studies. Many struggling neighborhoods, for one, lack places where you can get healthy sources of food. Corner stores and local food joints usually don’t supply people with the healthy items they need in their diet. Who wants to go far out to the grocery when the corner store has some delicious delights too? And on top of that, the lack of medical benefits, education aspects and stress, a lot of neighborhoods don’t have safe places to exercise or where children can play at and work up a sweat. Interesting.
Can’t say I’m surprised about this revelation. It’s pretty true that you can’t really drive down the street in a bad neighborhood and find an LA Fitness or Equinox to get your mind and body right. But we definitely thought it was worth sharing. So the moral of the story is, the area you live in could possibly be making you obese–but let’s not use our residences as scapegoats either. You know when it’s time to put down that cheeseburger…
What do you think of the study’s findings?
(AJC) — The Department of Housing and Urban Development gave Georgia $71.8 million to renovate and improve public housing.The money can be spent on large-scale improvements such as new roofs, energy-efficient upgrades or to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.
(Houston Chronicle) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said on Wednesday that it would hand out $62 million to 1,460 Louisiana homeowners to settle a lawsuit that alleged a Hurricane Katrina rebuilding program was unfair to blacks and left many people unable to rebuild in neighborhoods like the Lower 9th Ward after the 2005 storm. The agreement ends a lawsuit filed in 2008 in federal court in Washington, D.C., by five homeowners and housing advocates over the way grants were handed out by the Road Home program. The suit alleged Road Home discriminated against blacks because it calculated the worth of a home on housing values prior to Katrina’s assault on the Gulf Coast. Many blacks lived in neighborhoods, such as the Lower 9th Ward, where housing values were depressed before Katrina and therefore did not get enough money to rebuild after the storm, when the price of materials and labor skyrocketed.
A $54 million grant from the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is connecting low-income families with education and job training in order to restore hopes of self-sufficiency.
The grant is funded through HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program (HCV/FSS). Under the grant, public housing agencies (PHAs) in the US will work with welfare agencies, schools and local partners, as well as hire coordinators, to provide adults with job training, childcare, counseling, transportation and job placement services.
To participate in the program, the head of the household in a family must sign a contract that requires him or her to get a job, which the program will assist the participant in securing. As a greater income is earned, a portion is placed in an interest-bearing escrow account. At the end of the five year program, the family will no longer receive welfare assistance, but will have full access to the account for any needed purpose.
Families must already be signed up for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program to benefit from the resources offered in the FSS program.
According to Blacknews.com, HUD’s new study proves the effectiveness of the FSS Program for those who are able to complete it. Participants are shown to be more financially stable compared to those who are not members of the program.
Secretary of HUD Shaun Donovan calls the program “critical.”
“The research demonstrates that this program works. When families are given the tools they need to move beyond the voucher program, they do.”
A third study expected to begin this year by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research will finalize the results of the FSS program.
(Star Telegram) — The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department said it is investigating the practices of some mortgage lenders to determine whether their home loan policies illegally denied qualified African-American and Latino borrowers access to credit. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition filed 22 complaints with HUD on Dec. 7, alleging that the mortgage originators denied Federal Housing Authority-insured loans to African-Americans and Latinos with credit scores as high as 640. FHA guidelines allow mortgages to borrowers with credit scores above 580 with a down payment of 3.5 percent of the loan amount, and to those with credit scores above 500 if they have a down payment of 10 percent of the loan amount.
(Washington Post) — A federal audit has questioned more than $10 million in spending by the District’s housing agency, prompting the return of $1.6 million of Housing and Urban Development grant funds. In a report released Dec. 23 after examining the city’s financing of a long-delayed affordable housing project, its use of federal funds for home-renovation and down-payment assistance, and its transfers to community-based groups, HUD Regional Inspector General John P. Buck raised concerns about the city’s oversight of federal funds.
(Loan Safe) – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded $7.4 million to 10 historically black colleges and universities to help revitalize neighborhoods, promote affordable housing and stimulate economic development in their communities. The funding announced today is provided through HUD’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Program. Donovan made the announcement to the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference in Washington.
“All across this country, historically black colleges and universities are cultivating young minds and helping to revitalize local communities,” said Donovan. “I’m proud that HUD can be an important partner to assist these institutions of higher education in their efforts to strengthen our nation’s communities.
(Black Web 2.0) – While the debate continues on whether or not it’s truly evil, Google is busy tipping the scales in favor of good. Google has created an $86 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit fund. The monies will be a major source of funding for the construction of 480 rental housing units located in seven communities throughout the West and Midwest. According to the press release, Google is injecting some much needing money into a sagging housing market. While the monies won’t cover the total cost of the project it’s a great start.
(New York Times) –The Department of Housing and Urban Development said today that it would take complaints from individuals who believe they have been harmed by the practices of certain lenders who may have illegally denied mortgages because applicants were pregnant or on short-term disability. HUD may pursue the matter on behalf of individuals if the department learns of any possible violations, said Bryan Greene, the department’s deputy assistant secretary for fair housing enforcement programs. He said the department had reason to believe that more individuals might come forward.